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9/11/01 The Today Show News/Business. (2010) Highlights of the week's 9/11.

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Pentagon 25, Manhattan 16, Katie 13, Us 12, Washington 12, New York City 11, New York 10, Pat Dawson 8, Boston 7, United States 6, Pittsburgh 6, U.s. 6, Fbi 6, Vincent 5, Los Angeles 5, Tom 5, America 5, Florida 4, California 4, The Pentagon 4,
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  MSNBC    MSNBC News Live    9/11/01 The Today Show  News/Business.  
    (2010) Highlights of the week's 9/11.  

    September 11, 2010
    10:00 - 11:00am EDT  

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i don't know if this is the correct tape. there. something there is about to happen. falling away right there. >> yeah, it looks like a big chunk of it has just peed away. >> one can only hope that the area has been evacuated. but you wonder about all the emergency vehicles and the people who might have been injured early in the morning. >> well, you remember when the bomb went off in the basement of it in 1993 how much damage was done throughout that building, how much cha there was at that time. these are two coordinated airplane attacks on the building on the upper reaches of it. that will have an enormous structural effect. those buildings, i think that it's fair to say, will probably have to be brought down. it's too early to speculate on that, but there's been that kind of damage. >> let's talk again. you were talking about -- >> here we have somebody on the scene. >> this reporter here in new york of wnbc. you talk about this plane from boston to los angeles. the reports are it was being diverted to jfk. and just for people who aren't
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familiar with the ggraphy of this are the southern tip of manhattan would be very much near the flight, the landing pattern for jfk airport. it could have been easy for a hijacker to pretend that he was taking that plane to jfk and veer off at the last minute. >> i heard one eyewitness say that over washington square, which in the lower reaches of manhattan, you s a plane go over it about 1,000 feet. apparently the american airlines flight and then do what he described as a sharp right turn right toward the world trade center. he then lost sight of it. >> and one eyewitness in this a.p. report says he was getting off a path train to the world trade center and saw bodies falling out of the building. as he approached it. police told him to get out of the building immediately. he ran outside and watched people jump out of the first building. and then thereas a second explosion. >> this footage we're seeing right now shows that the damag is so severe. i mean, we had seen what seemed to be two fairly self-contained impact craters before. and now it appears something much more dramatic has happened
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to at least one of those towers. >> these pictures are beyond belief. >> we have a report that the second plane may have flown out of senewark, new jersey. this is an official who was speaking on the condition of anonymity. again, there is no confirmation of that. we just know that there were two planes that went in. the first one apparently was an american airlines flight that was from boston to los angeles. we're now seeing it from the harbor view of this continuing damage and destruction to the world trade center. >> incidentally, fom, i want to interrupt you for two seconds because apparently jamie has more information for us. jamie? >> reporter: i've spoken again to u.s. officials with access to the highest intelligence, and they are now confirming that it does appear that at the pentagon it was a plane. again, they are saying they believe now a third plane was involved at the pentagon. >> and, of course, this has been the nightmare, katie, for national security officials for a long time.
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we talk about nuclear bombs and those kinds of exchanges or invasions. evtheryone has been worried abo the suitcase-sized bomb of some kind or an airplane or an attack on our subways in the large cities. and this, obviously, no one had anticipated three airplanes that were deliberately aimed at critical targets in america. we can only hope that it's over for today, but officials are taking no chances on all that. they're evacuating all critical buildings because as mr. johnson said earlier, this is an open society. james callstrom from the fbi also pointing out that almost anyone can come in here. they have access to so many instruments that can be used as instruments of atck and terrorism. and that certainly has been the case today. >> let's go to our state department correspondent andrea mitchell. andrea, what can you tell us? >> well, this from the fbi. the state department has been evacuated. there was a meeting going on in the operations center. other top officials were in the situation room at the white house. colin powell is in bogota,
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colombia, on a two-day trip. but this very interesting information, katie, matt and tom from the fbi, they had been operating a massive exercise from their hostage rescue unit, all of their top teams, about 50 personnel, helicopters, equipment were in monterey, california, for the last two days, scheduled to fly back today commercially. so all of those people are out place. it's fair to say, according to sources that we've talked to here at nbc, that the fbi rescue operations and other fbi operations are really in chaos right now because they can't reach their officials in new york. all of their phone lines are down. and now you've got all of their special experts on this stuck in monterey, california, trying to get a military flight back because there are nos. longer commercial flights. so they are seriously out of pocket, and there is a real breakdown of the fbi antiterror coordination team which is, of course, the principal team that would lead any effort and was so effective under jim callstrom in new york city during the world
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trade center bombing and the twa explosion which, of course, turned out not to be terror. >> andrea, is the state department taking this claim of responsibility from the democratic front for the liberation of palestine seriously? are they giving any credence to that, or are they dismissing it? or how do they feel about who ght have been responsible for this? >> i think it is far too early for them, even the best expts in the government, to figure this out. they have one instant reaction, as you know, and it can be wrong. but their immediate reaction in a case like this would be to look toward osama bin laden and the collateral groups connected to him simply because he has proved, with the embassy bombings in africa, that he is the one terror leader who is capable of this kind of highly coordinated attack. the bombings went off in tanzania and in kenya almost simultaneously. it was extraordinarily well coordinated. they proved their case to a jury
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effectively and have managed to develop a great deal of information from sources, some former members of his network. >> andrea? >> they believe he's the most likely person but it's too early to say. >> american airlines has confirmed that one of its flights, flight number 11 from boston's logan airport scheduled to go to l.a.x., it left at 8:00 a.m. this morning, 45 minutes later, it was diverted into the world trade center. it was the airline that was involved. we can only assume on a popular flight like that, that it probably had a capacity load of passengers and crew on board. it was a hijacking. that was the first plane that was involved. we don't know about the second plane yet, nor do we know the origins of a third plane that deliberately flew itself into the pentagon this morning near the heliport. our jim miklaszewski has been forced to evacuate that building. we'll have to wait to hear from
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him. >> we saw dramatic pictures from the pentagon. >> let's go back to a few seconds ago. this is about an hour after the first impact. we saw dramatic footage of a portion of one of the twin towers, actually it appearing to fall away from the rest of the building. can we go to the tape now? here we go right here. i me, when you look at it, the building has collapsed. that tower just came down. >> let's go to bob who is at st. vincent's hospital. bob, what's ing on there? what can you tell us? >> katie, st. vincent's hospital is one of the hospitals closest to the world trade center. in the last few minutes ambulances have been coming in one right after another. most of the people they're bringing in have second and third-degree burns, very serious burn victims. th say the smoke inhalation people will probably be the most serious, but they're not even close to getting to them yet. there's a triage operation that's going on in the area. ambulances are being dispatched to every hospital in new york city. the entire staff of this hospital hascome in from wherever they are at hospitals across new york city. they're standing there as soon
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as an ambulance pulls in, dozens of medical workers rush up to it. but it's a carnage that's just beginning. everybody here, the emergency service workers i spoke to have been down into the world trade center site say this is just the tip of the iceberg. there's going to be massive amounts of casualties. >> what are they telling you about people? were there many people inside the building, or is that just -- is it just too early to tell? >> it's too early to tell. there were certainly, you know, probably hundreds, even thousands of people in the buding even though it was before 9:00 on the start of the usual work period because it's just such a large area. so the number of casualties is just enormous. they're just beginning tout sor it out and getting to the first few they can get to. but the ambulances are coming in. they're lined up, every ambulance in new york has been summoned. they're standing in a queue. they go in as soon as they can get a victim and bring them up here right away. >> bob, we're also looking at the lower end of manhattan as a relt of the collapse of one world trade center. that whole financial district is
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now engulfed in smoke and debris. and there probably is going to be a lot more smoke inhalation problems as a result. >> almost certainly, tom, i sw actually standing and saw that collapse. and everybody here just gasped. even the medical workers and the ambulance attendants, when they saw that, the people who are used to tragedy, grabbed each other and hugged each other. and some started to cry. >> the triageunit where it's set up. >> exactly, set up at the base of that building trying to evacuate people. and when a building of that size falls, it does not fall on its own footprint. >> absolutely. i'm several blocks orth, so i don't know what that looks like, but one can only imagine. >> the consequences continue to go on not only to the world trade center but, of course, that is the heart of the world financial markets which have now been shut down effectively as well. so the ripple effect continues this morning as we all try to adjust psychologically and intellectually to what we are
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witnessing here. it is difficult to comprehend. but this country, the strongest country in the world, has been the target of a major coordinated terrorist attack. and the end is not over yet. even if it's confined to just these three targets. the ripple effect goes on. all air traffic has been shut down. there will be no financial markets in place today. business has been stopped across the country. >> of course, who knows the human toll that will be the result of this action. matt actually just pointed out to me on any given day, 50,000 people, tom, work at the world trade center. >> and at 8:45 in the morn, if they're not in the building, they're around the building. that's a beehive of activity down there. there is no more active area in terms of pedestrian traffic. >> i hate to keep going back to the collapse of that tower, but if you consider this plane hit at midstructure and it would have probably taken out the electrical in the building where elevators wouldn't work and people sruggling to get some
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way out of that tower. and it takes a long time to come down over 100 stories. and to think about the possible loss of life that just occurred by the collapse of that southeastern tower is just amazing. we have a woman with the "today" show, and she saw the collapse of one of those towers. >> yes, hi, matt. >> tell me what you saw. >> on the corner of duane and west broadway, and it just collapsed. it looked sort of like the building just demolished. smoke, clouds. clouds of smoke everywhere. people running towards me. i was going towards the twin towers. people were going away from the towers. and it was just people running. i've never seen a scene like it. >> from where you were, minna, did you see many of the injured being treated? is there any indication as to the type of the perimeter that the ems people were dealing with? >> no, i hadn't gotten that close yet. they were sort of blocking off
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the street. now what they're doing is totally clearing out the wrar. area. and more and more emergency officials are coming in to help. >> can you just give me an idea of the reaction of people down there, minna, pedestrians? >> everyone, everyone in tears. people who were -- i met some woman who was in the building to the right where the first thing happened. just all crying, wondering if people that they know in the buildings next door are okay. >> minna, thank you very much. take care of yourself. jamie, our national correspondent, is on the phone now with some more information. jamie? >> katie, as you well know, buildings around town are being evacuated. the state department has been evacuated. the white house has been evacuated. and the pentagon has been evacuated. intelligence officials tell me that they do believe at the pentagon that that was a third plane going down.
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they have had -- the intelligence sources that i've talked to say that they have not received any claim of responsibility yet. >> and jamie, have you gotten any information from reagan national airport as to air traffic in the area this morning or anybody who might have somehow traced this plane orre figured oufrom where it came or where it was going? >> they still do not have any of those details yet. it is almost impossible. they were confused for a long time as to whether it a bomb or plane. they say now it appears to be a plane, but they say that is all the information that they have. as you know, the faa has shut down all aircraft now, and they are now going back and trying to sort that out. but they do not have any information on that yet. >> do they know what type of plane it might have been? >> there is no -- unfortunately, they just don't have that yet.
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>> all right, jamie, thank you. we'll be talking with you. >> it goes without saying this is the most serious attack on the united states in more than 100 years. not since the war of 1812 and certainly the damage we did to ourselves in the civil war has this country suffered this kind of damage within its interior. obviously, pearl harbor which triggered world war ii was a horrific event as well, but there has never been an event to match the magnitude of this one in which everything has been shut down in terms of air traffic. the national capitol has been immobilized. the white house state department pentagon has been attacked. financial markets have been shut down. there is an untold loss of life here in manhattan, the nerve center of america. >> when is the last time -- this is a shot of new york city in downtown manhattan that many people have never -- can't remember. the shot of one tower. >> it looks like a movie, frankly, that's unfolding. and it combines the horror of the twa flight 800 bombing and the murrah federal building
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because it's both of these incidents, of course, coming together in the most horrific way. >> by now i would guess that everyone is up across all time zones in america. it's 7:15 in the west, obviously. for those of you just joining u5 at 8:45 eastern, 8:42 today, american airlines flight 11 from boston to l.a.x. was crashed into one of the world trade center buildings. 15 minutes later, another plane hit the other one. that has -- that building has now collapsed. within an hour of those two attacks, the pentagon was hit, now we're told by a plane, an untold number of casualties there. president bush has been on the air. he was in florida at the time saying apparently this was a terrorist attack. everyone now believes that, carefully coordinated from the air. and the consequences of it in terms of human lo and the effect on this country are still to be determined. >> we want to go now, tom, to kathleen zicci who is with nyu downtown hospital. they've been treating some of the injured. kathleen, can you hear me?
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>> yes. >> can you tell me about the injuries you're seeing and the numbers of people you've been treating? >> well, we've seen a steady stream of patients for approximately an hour and a half. many appeared to be superficial injuries. but i can't tell you i've seen ithe most serious ones because believe they're going into the ambulance bay. we have a very high level of activity here. our first priority is on the care of those patients. and we do not have an exact tally at this time because of the level of activity at the hospital. we've also been responding to family members and friends who have come seeking information to the hospital. >> and just quickly, kathleen, how far is the hospital frome world trade center? >> t hospital is perhaps a five-minute walk from the world trade center. and we were the first responder when therade center was attacked in '93. so unfortunately we have some prior experience. >> what kind of medical support is there downtown? how many hospitals in the
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immediate area there that could help with the injured? >> we are the only hospital south of 13th street in new york city. so we serve a very large proportion of the city. for that reason, our emergency room is a very high priority of this hospital. and the staff have been doing a heroic job in terms of responding to the patients. >> kathlee what about the triage unit that is on the ground there? are they nyu -- a team of nyu medical people on the scene as well? >> yes, there are. i cannot respond to that question because i am not on the scene, and i don't have that informion. >> but you do have medical people -- your personnel -- there at the scene? >> that is my understanding, yes. >> katie, what we're worried about now is if the other building may come down. they've obviously evacuated that whole area as a result of the crash of one world trade center. now i'm told that there's concern about the second one collapsing as well. plainly there's been an enormous
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amount of structural damage in the upper floors of all of that. and it is more than 100 stories high. it wouldn't take much to bring it down. >> kathleen, thank you very much. we appreciate it. >> thank you. >> we're told now that a spokesman for yasser arafat, the leader of the palestinian -- the leader of the pla, the palestinian liberation organization, that he has -- that arafat has condemned what has happened here in new york. he says that the plo has no role in it whatsoever. they're completely shocked and appalled by what is happening. there was just one earlier record that the radical democratic front for the liberation of palestine claimed responsibility, but that was later denied as well. we don't know yet who is, in fact, responsible fort this. but it was very carefully planned and coordinated and fair to say it has been a devastatingly efficient and effective attack on the heart of this country. >> pat dawson is on the ground
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near the world trade center. pat, are you there? pat dawson, can you hear me? okay. he's having some audio problems. we'll get to pat in just a moment. >> just amazing. you have to stop and think about, you know, the hijacked plane and the terror of the passengers on board as it could have been up to an hour that they realized something was dramatically wrong with this flight. and then thinking that perhaps they were going to john f. kennedy airport here in queens, actually, a the plane suddenly veering into the world trade center tower. >> you can only imagine more horrifying it was. >> we didn't have any earlier report of the hijacking. a lot of people monitor that air traffic talk that goes on. and it wasn't until this happened -- >> well, the plane left boston at 8:00 this morning. >> 45 minutes later it went in. >> it was about 42 minutes later that this occurred.
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>> and it flew right over lower manhattan. a number of people saw it at a very low altitude and then take this sharp right turn and wondered according to eyewitnesses what was going on. moments later the world trade center was hit. it was about an hour after that that jim miklaszewski told you, katie, he felt an explosion at the pentagon. now we've learned there has been a plane flown into the pentagon. there have been people who have been hurt there. and we hope no one has been killed, but it seems likely there were probably casualties of a serious magnitude there as well. the white house has been evacuated. the state department is being evacuated. >> sears tower. >> there's the pentagon now. >> pat dawson, let's just take a quick look at the pentagon. and as you can see, smoke continues to billow out of that. as jusmentioned, it's unclear how many people were hurt and if, in fact, it was a plane. there is speculation that they believe it was a plane. let's go to pat dawson who is down by the world trade center. pat, can you hear me? >> reporter: right down here we cannot tell you much more in
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terms of specific information other than to say that there are probably at this stage, i would say, hundreds, perhaps in the thousands, of emergency workersr who, in the last hour and a half, have managed to rourke their way down here to lower manhattan. and basically try to get into this fray. they are -- we are standing right here about 10 to 12 blocks north of the world trade center. these firemen that you can see, firefighters -- firefighters are walking down towards the site now. and they literally have been arriving by the dozens over the past hour or so. as we say, probably in excess of 1,000 or more emergency workers from new york city and surrounding areas converging on this site now tory to make some sense of it. as you can agine, at this point, there is a certain level of chaos because they're just trying to sort out who's alive, who's not. we did speak to, as i said efore, some of the emergency workers. they are police officers from
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the port authority of new york and new jersey. that is the organization that has jurisdiction over those two buildings specifically as well as bridges and tunnels. i oke to two of them who were actually down there when that building collaps. they said that they speculate that the loss of life had to be horrific, that there were not that many people down there on the streets at that point, that most of them who had been evacuated, that is civilians, but on the other hand, they said that there were literally hundreds of emergency workers who were down at that end.e they have no idea the level of loss of life at this point. when i asked one of them why he was going back in as he suited up since he could barely both, he said it's my job, and there may be some of my brother officers in there. there may be other people in there. so those officers going in here, as you can see, all kinds of fire workersg in there literally in the thousands converging on this site. we cannot give you much of an organizational sense beyond telling u probably what you already know, which is that two
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separate aircraft have struck the two towers of the world trade center. if memory serves, i think each of those towers stands 110 stories. some of the dust, as you can probably see now, is blowing in our faces. it really depends on which way the wind blows as to whether or not we're enveloped in some of the dust and smoke. as you can see from these pictures, the amount of dust from the fire that's still burning, flames and ash is extraordinary at this point. and at least a few emergency workers have said that they really aren't so sure that other tower won't stay up now. they really didn't think the first one was capable of coming down, but it did. and so they are basically saying keep back as far as you can. on the other hand, facing that danger, as we have been telling you, many, many hundreds of these workers are heading over those lines down towards that burning building to try to rescue those people who are in there, be they emergency workers, be they civilians.
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the original crash took place just about quarter to 9:00 by my reckoning. i don't know the exact sytime, t about quarter to 9:00. when that took place, obviously at that hour the building would not be packed with people. but it's still late enough in the morning that there would be enough people. >> we are listening to pat dawson who's standing near the world trade center in lower manhattan. katie and tom, i was thinking while pat was talking, you both spent time in oklahoma city at the murrah federal building after that happened. it took more than a week to sift through that rubble of a building that was how many stories? probably -- >> it was about 30 stories, as i remember >> i'm sorry to interrupt you both, but apparently we've gotten a report that now a car bomb has exploded outside the state department. again, that's an initial report that i'm hearing from our producers in the control room. can we go to anyone for more information on that? apparently no more information on that. >> where is andrea mitchell? is she at the state department? >> well, the state department
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has been evacuated as well as the white house, the u.s. capitol has been evacuated. obviously, the pentagon has as well. we'll go to mik. mik, what is the latest from the pentagon? >> reporter: katie, security officials here at the pentagon have not only evacuated the building, but they're clearing the entire area. security forces have reported that they have received information of another plane hijacking, that it's about 20 to 25 miles out of washington, d.c., headed in this general direction. secretary of defense donald rumsfeld a few moments ago was refusing to leave the building. we ran into the chief naval officer, the top naval officer, admiral vern clark, they were loading in quickly into a car to take him to an alternative command site. they were taking admiral clark to an alternative command site. hello, do you hear me? >> yes, we can, mik, go ahead.
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>> reporter: okay, i'm sorry. there's no confirmation of this latest threat, but security officials here are taking this very seriously. we were standing with secretary rumsfeld's security detail who as soon as they got the report went running into the building. and we were herded away. but they have set up an e alternative command site somewhere in the area. the pentagon has set up a crisis team to deal with this situation. but so far the latest reports are that another plane of some kind may have been hijacked and headed in this direction. katie? >> yeah, we also should tell you, mik, this is tom brokaw that the faa says that all international flights headed for the united states are being diverted to canada. this at a time when, as jim miklaszewski is telling us, there's been unconfirmed reports there's another hijacking. all takeoffs were stopped, but they were planes in the air, obviously, at the time of these first two attacks on the twin trade towers and then on the pentagon. >> andrea mitchell is standing
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by with more information. she was at the state department. andrea? >> reporter: the state department, as you know, has been evacuated. secretary of state colin powell is now en route on home from lima, peru. he did not get to his destination of bogota, colombia, today. so that trip canceled. he as all other officials heading back. state department officials and the white house officials and the nsc have been evac waited. conde rice was in the situation room. cia director george tenet has been holding meetings in his office in langley, virginia. as we reported earlier, key fbi team members from their rescue efforts and anti-coordinating terror team were stranded in monterey, california, where they were on a secret exercise, military exercise. >> right. >> against exactly this kind ofn event. >> andrea, let me interrupt for a second. can you tell us any more reports of a car bomb exploding outside the state department? >> reporter: i do not have coirmation of that. they did evacuate the state department, but we do not have
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confirmation at this moment about a car bomb outside the state department. >> andrea, thanks. i'm sorry to interrupt, but we're going to go back to jim miklaszewski at the pentagon. mik? >> reporter: i've got my eyes peeled here, katie. i don't see anything. but security forces in the area have just blared out over their loudspeakers to any pedestrians who are anywhere near the to take cover immediately. there was, as i said, earlier, an indication that another plane may have been hijacked and headed in this general direction. so far all we see are security helicopters circling the pentagon. again, the skies are crystal clear blue, and i can't see the speck of an airplane, but security forces here are obviously alarmed enough not only to tell people to keep some distance from the building, but to take immediatcove >> can you tell me a little more -- actually, let's look at these live pictures at the world
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trade center. the other tower of the world trade center has just collapsed. you are looking at live pictures of the second twin tower at the world trade center collapsing as a result of the crash of an airplane into its side. that, i believe, was the first tower that was struck this morning at 8:42 eastern time. it has now fallen to the ground and collapsed. >> manhattan has been changed. there's been a declaration of war by terrorists on the united states. >> pat dawson is down at the scene. >> where's wing? where's wing? >> pat, can you hear us? obviously there is pandemonium downtown. at that time is not far from the world trade center, as you can he from the sirens. and you can only imagine the confusion and the terror that is in that area after not one but both trade center towers have now collapsed. >> more than 100 stories of
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steel, concrete, electrical. there it is. that's a videotape replay. >> we are back at 10:30 eastern time on this tuesday morning. this horrific, incredible, not to be believed tuesday morning. you are looking at live pictures of the world trade center wre within the last minute, the second twin tower collapsed. just to recap, if you're just joining us, around 8:42 eastern time this morning here in new york city, a plane crashed into the right twin tower of the world trade center about two thirds of the way up the building, leaving a huge, gaping hole, a huge fire, and tons of billowing smoke. about 25 minuteslater, a second jet believed to be a 727 --
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>> 737. >> or a 737. >> a 757, even. intower.crashed in the second the first plane incidentally was en route from boston, massachusetts, to los angeles. >> here's the video, i think, the second plane striking the tower. >> that's right. we're not sure of the origin of that plane is my understanding. the first plane that caused that hole on the right-hand side in the other twin tower was from boston to l.a.x. to los angeles. it was flight 11, american airlines. we have confirmed that that plane was hijacked. what happened following the hijacking is unclear. we should note that about an hour after the first collision at the pentagon, reportedly another plane crashed into the pentagon which is just outside washington, d.c., in northern virginia. all air traffic has been stopped. >> government buildings have been evacuated as haveother buildings across the country.
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the sears tower in chicago was evacuated. you can imagine that other buildings in major cities and small cities around the country are probably being evacuated as well. >> there's an unconfirmed report of a car bomb at the state department. we have not been able to pin that down. therhas also, as jim miklaszewski was told, there is another report of a hijacking. we share with you not in any attempt to exacerbate what is already a terrible situation, but so much has come true today based on these earlier reports that we want you to have as much information we can possibly get. at the pentagon, all people outside were told to take cover just moments ago. but jim said the skies were clear. >> that was an unconfirmed report of another hicking with the plane headed towards washington. again, we don't want to sound alarmous, but that was something mik heard. the president is en route from florida where he was there to visit an elementary school to talk about literacy. obviously, his agenda has
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changed dramatically. he will convene a meeting of the national security council as soon as he gets home. colin powell is also on his way ee peru.lima, piru, w >> my guess is that air force one is in the unusual situation of having a fighter plane escort on its way back from florida today. that's where we stand. >> think about the loss of life that we could have seen this morning, if you think about the fact that when full the trade centers hold about 50,000 people. shortly after 9:00 in the other tower. but if you look at this picture, tom and katie, of lower manhattan, it appearves terroris have succeeded this time what they attempted back in 1993. >> this is a war, a declaration and an execution of an attack on the united states, two of our most conspicuous symbols of
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capitalism. the pentagon, the headquarters of the most mighty military in the world was attacked today as well. the white house has been evacuated. the state department has been evacuated. financial markets have been immobilized. all flights taking off after these attacks were grounded. >> international flights have been sent to canada. >> transatlantic flights, gng to canada now. so there has been great chaos visited upon this country to say nothing. as you pointed out, matt, so importantly of the still untold loss of life. and it's going to be horrendous. we don't know yet what the exact numbers are, but we canonly tell you by looking at those pictures that you can guess as well as we can that there are going to be a lot of people who are not going to be able to escape. >> back in 1993 when the bomb blew up in the basement of the world trade center, so many survivors talk about how long it took them with no power in the elevators to walk down the smoke-filled stairways. you think about how many people who were still trying to escape those buildings when first one and then the second tower collapsed.
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>> and, of course, the tree aia unit, area hospitals are all receiving victims. and as matt said, 50,000 capacity when everybody is in the building. but many people at 8:42 a.m. here in new york are at their desk working in their offices. one young man or one man was reached by phone and was asked what is happening there. and he said, "we are blanking dying here." there was screaming and yelling and pure chaos, understandably in the background. >> there's a picturof lower manhattan, ladies and gentlemen, the most important city in the world in so many ways. and now it has been attacked by terrorists at the world trade center and the damage is beyond our ability to tell you in great detail. >> let me mention that -- >> i was going to say, here's what the president said. he canceled an education appearance in florida. here's what he said just a short time ago. >> ladies and gentlemen, this is a difficult moment for america. i, unfortunately, will be going
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back to washington after my remarks. secretary rod pace, lieutenant governor, will take the podium and discuss education. i do want to thank the folks here at booker elementary school for their hospitality. today we've had a national tragedy. two airplanes have crashed into the world trade center in an apparent terrorist attack on our country. i have spoken to the vice president, to the governor of new york, to the director of the fbi. and i've ordered that the full resources of the federal government go to himelpd the victims and their families and to conduct a full-scale investigation to hunt down and to find those folks who committed this act. terrorism against our nation will not stand. and now if you join me in a moment of silence.
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>> that was george w. bush about an hour ago speaking from florida. he is en route to washington, d.c. we're looking at some pictures on the ground, or we were, of apparently some of the victims. let's go to pat dawson, if he can hear us. he is on the ground. >> quite extraordinary, these are the emergency workers who are coming back. it was just about ten minutes ago that we described to you the possibility of that north tower collapsing about five minutes after we went off the air, it did collapse. once again, we have no idea at this point the loss of life. i can only tell you there were hundreds of emergency workers down there about five or six blocks. it took probably about, i would say, no more than 50 or 60 seconds for that dust cloud, dust and smoke, to literally make it the five or six blocks up here and begin to envelop us at which point we started to move out of the way.
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there were literally dozens and dozens of firemen who were trying to run past us. in fact, our cameraman even -- got in his car and drove off. the people you see here are pretty much all emergency workers. many of them that i have seen in the last two to three minutes, quite frankly, are coming out of here. and remember this, these are professionals. they're coming out of there looking literally stunned, in shock, many of the struggling for breath. obviously in serious distress, breathing problems are the biggest problem for those who managed to make it safely out of that area down below us. yocan't see much more than a block south of me right now. and theorld trade center probably stands about ten blocks south of where i am at this moment. and as you can see now, the dust is beginning to pick up here. it really depends on which way the wind blow as to whetr or not we get heavyust or not. but point i can tell you that in the first few minutes,
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emergency workers were trying just basically to get out of there. to survive. you can see that written in their faces. the situation was so desperate, they just wanted to get out of there. now many of them are beginning to regroup. a couple of them asked me where their commander might be. they're trying to get together and go back in there and try to take care of the people who obviously are in serious trouble. there's no other way to describe it. the language here at times, if i slip into language which seems a little mellodramatimelodramatic, but this is a circumstance which is very, very difficult to describe in many ways without sounding melodramatic. certainly in more than 20 years of covering horrific events, this is something that i've never seen before. as we say, the emergency workers now beginning to try to gather themselves over there. you can see a police emergency service unit. they are trying basically now to re-estabsh some kind of a safe perimeter. and many of the emergency workers basically just happy to be alive. certainly that picture tells it
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all. many of them just happy to be alive at this point. having survived what is an extraordinary event, the collapse of two towers. as we said earlier in our report, 110 stories each. i will tell you that what fell, what i saw fall had to be at least 40, 50 stories of that building at first. the skeleton was left at about, i would say, the 50th or 60th floor after the shell, after the structure of the building fell down. the skeleton, the steel skeleton, was literally sheeved off, and it took another 30 seconds before the skeleton collapsed into the street. that was the last we saw of the world trade center. and that was maybe ten minutes ago when those-- that final skeleton, the met aal skeleton collapsed into the street. >> that was nbc's pat dawson about ten blocks from where the world trade center towers used to stand. you're looking at the collapse of one of those towers right now. we now have an a.p. news alert
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out of pittsburgh. officials at somerset county airport are confirming the crash of alarge plane just north of the airpt. that's about 80 miles southeast of pittsburgh. again, officials at somerset county airport confirmethe crash of a rge plane north of that airport which is located about 80 miles tout the southea of t city of pittsb dgh. we do not know whet her that crash of that planete isrelated to what habecome an obvious terrorist attack both here in new york cy and in shington, c., at the pentagon. we ju st g that state department surity officials ars e reports of a car bomb the state department. betsy stewart is at the "c" street entrance and also says there's no sign of a carst bomb. tsy stewart is one of our producers who's very familiar with the state department. the building has been evacuated. top officials are still believed to be in the operations center, however. those are highly secured areas in terms of penetration physically and otherwise colin powell, as andrea reported earlier, was headed for lima,
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his way he's coming back. back. he'll have a national security council meeting we think probably at around 11:30 or perhaps around noon. tathat is likely to take place either an andrews air force base or in some more secure location. the white house has been evacuated. especially with thisgoreport of another plane going down, this time in the pittsburgh area, there were planes in the air e wetakeoffs.r went out that we don't know how much re damage these terrorists had in mind. haeger who to bob is, of course, nbc's aviation expert. bob, what kind of information are you getting from your sources? >> reporter: not a lot, katie, from the faa. for instance, they are not talking about any possible hijacks. normally they can tell when there's a hijack in progress because the pilot, the original pilot of the plane has various buttons that he can push that a that there were hijacks. but maybe as a matter of security, they're not saying anything about that.
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ey did stop all takeoffs in the u.s. at 9:25 this morning.lo and then for pilots that were in thair, the question came up what to do about them. and they were given se stination so long as it n to was not the new york or washington area or divert to an wanted to do i personally saw the blast at the pentagon, not the blast take place, but moments af i had been at national airpor trying to get up to new york. and you can see that smoke billowing out of the pentagon. i can give you a little description of what it's like on the streets of washington because it was quite crowded trying to work my way back here to nbc. they have now given not only the white house and those key buildings like the u.s. capitol, but at this point they've given all federal employees the word to leave their offices and get home. so there are traffic ms in washington. >> first we nt to go to jim miklaszewski at the pentagon who has more information.ep mik? >> reporter: katie, they're still clearing people away from
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the pentagon. still security forces believe that there may be another incoming plane headed in the washington region. but there was a very telling, dramatic moment just a second ago when a u.s. air force f-16 at a very low level, did a wide sweeping turn around the pentagon and back over washington. and as one air force officer standing near me said my god, near now flying air cover over washington. a very dramatic moment. a milestone in what tom has already described as a declaration of war, terrorist war, against the u.s. let's go back and show you the pictures of lower manhattan where the situation only gets worse, not better. that is the financial district of the world. it's also a residential area and a great commercial area. both twin trade tower buildings now have collapsed onto the ground. there is an untold loss of life. the ripple effect goes on with all the smoke and dust that has spread out across that very densely populated area. it goes downwe below ground as
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ll as in the hi-rise buildings there. there are many residential structures in that area as well. so heroic rescue workers were down there trying to get people out of the building when the first building came down and then t second building did as well.in looking atound and this, there is a kind of surreal quality. but at i the epicenter of a great, great national tragedy and a great loss of life. bo question about it this ki morning. >> we're talking about people who were hurt, perhaps killed in this blast. many of them have been brought to area hospitals including st. vincent's hospital. bob bazell is there. what's the latest? >> reporter: katie, ambulances continue to stream in. several new york city streets have been closed, major avenues have been closed so that ambulances can continue to come in. in addition, the new york city subway system has now been closed down. and several buildings that were not involved in the world tr ad center area have bn shut down. and people have been told to go home. and a lot of them were just
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wandering aimlsly on the street. many people weeping anhugging each other. this is clearly a time that, as tom described, as very close the beginning of a war. and the casualties do keep coming in, burns, smok inhalation very severe. all themedical people that i've talked to say this is just the tip of the icebe. we expect casuaies to be coming in all through the night and way into tomorrow and beyond. >> bob, if you could stand by for a moment because we have this report from a.p. that i'm just simply going to read. a large plane crash tuesday morning just north of the somers county airport about 80 miles southeast of pittsburgh, airport officials said. the plane beeved to be a boeing 757 crashed arod 10:00 a.m. about eight miles east of jennerstown. wpix-tv reports. the twin 110-story towers collapsed. explosions also rocked the pentagon and the state department, although that was refuted moments ago.
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and spread fear across the nation. there was no other immediate details on the pesylvania crash. and it was not clear whether the crash was related to the othe. again, that was a report, a bulletin that was just issued by the associated press. >> you know what is so stunning about all this, matt and katie, is there has been no -- no indication whatsoever that this very carefully coordinated massive attack was going to occur. there has been complete intelligence failure here. and there will be, obviously, down the road a price to take pore that. >> well, that's actually not all that surprising, tom, because we've often talked in the past following every terrorist event about how vulnerable the united states is, and many terrorists experts say how nprepared they are. and the question, of course, is can you ever prepare for an attack like this? >> well, that's true. but we also have people out there who are enlisting -- and we've penetrated these kind of organizations, but toave this kind of an attack, this sophisticated, this efficient striking at the heart of the nation'scapital, striking at
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the heart of new york city. if this is true that this plane went down as a result of this attack, we don't know whether it's the end oit. wand this is a massively well coordinated attack of some kind that is nothing short of a declaration of war on this country. >> and terrorist experts are now saying and intelligence experts are now saying there are very few number of terrorist goups that are capable of this kind of planning. and a couple names come to mind, and i'm not going to throw them out now because we certainly don't have any reports. before i go to jamie gangel, i want to say some of the descriptions coming from eyewitnesses in lower manhattan of these explosionsg. oc are chilling. one man talked about getting off a path train,that's a subway train here in lower manhattan. after the first explosion and seeing people jump out of the windows. we have no idea how high up. but hearing people on the ground scream each time another person jumped out of a window, attempting to get to safety. and then when the second explosion occurred, he felt the heatf of the explosion on the back of his neck. jamie gangel is our national
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correspondent joining us on the phone. jamie? >> matt, you know, speaking of those intelligence officials that you were just mentioning, now finally we can no longer reach on the phone anyone at the cia. apparently the cia has been evacuated. we know the national security agency which is the electronic eavesdropping agency which is south of baltimore near ft. maryland, th they have been shut down. what we're hearing from both places is that all nonessential personnel have been told to leave. and i can only imagine that probably they are trying to move some of their operationsout of those buildings as well. for backup procedure. but in addition to whatever intelligence was or was missed in all of this,weow have perhaps some problems gathering intelligence as thos buildings . >> right, jamie, thanyou very much. tom, let's go back and talk
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about something you mentioned a second ago. it shows the enormity of this situation in addition to what we assume will be horrendous loss of life. all planes in this country have been grounded. i mean, you think about the impact that has. i mean, is there ever a time we can imagine something like that happening before? >> the most powerful nation in the world and national security officials and terrorist experts have been saying fo some time, a small bandilf very willful and sophisticated people can bring us to a halt. and they have done just that. there's a psychological terror as a result of all of this. as you can only imagine how it plays out across the country today, people looking in who don't live in new york or the capital are wondering what happens around me. it is hard to overstate the consequences of all of this, and this is just the beginning. we'lbe living with this story and dealing with the consequences of it for some time. e united states will change as a result of all of hathis. we already thoht that there was a lot of security in america at the airports and so on. and yet there was a successful
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hijacking at boston airport today. and the consequences of that we're seeing on the screen here this morning. so this is going to change this country profoundly in not just the coming days but the coming months to say nothing, as you have been saying, matt, of the horrific loss of life. >> on that subject, you know, katie and tom, to complete aor thought i started before, you both were out at the murrah federal building in oklahoma city, a much smaller building, and it took rescue workers more than a week to find all the people trapped in that wreckage. we have a building here that -- o buildings -- of each 110 stories. it's mind boggling t think of what it's going to take over these xt days and weeks to find survivors or victims of these explosion >> of course, it continues to be a terrifying situation because there are a number of planes up in the air as this took plac at a number of uncfirmed and frightening reports. about those planes th we heard earlier from jim miklaszewski
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that somebody had gotten rd at the pentagon that perhaps there is another plane, whether they were talking about the one north of pittsburgh, it's completely unclear. and it's also unclear whether these planes that were en route to a destination had been grounded themselves. in other words, that there were emergency landings or what. i think it's very difficult get any communication with airports all across the country because they're, i'm sure, completely chaotic. >> katie, you know from your time in okhoma city and all the time you spent with the victims there, the psychological effect of all of this on this country and how it'soing to affect our whole sense of security, and in a way our senss of america, it couldn't happen here. we said that about the murrah federal building. we even said that about columbine high school. this is an incident of a whole different magnitude. >> i have to say, i've never, ever -- i mean,hi witnessed anything quite as horrific. yii hate to keep saying it becae
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we have seen these types of things play out in movies and, you know, in worst-case scenarios and in dramatic renditions of this kind of incident. but certainly no one has ever seen this kind of thing unfold. anit is really shocking. >> we want to go now on the phone we have neil livingston who is an expert on terrorism. mr. livingston, can you hear me? >> i can. >> you kw, we were talking about what it would take in terms of planning and coordination to pull off an attack like this with so many prongs, at least two attacks here in new york city, one in washington, d.c. we don't know if the crash of i th plane outside pittsburgh is related. but give me an idea of how many groups there are in the country that would be capable of something like this. >> well, there are very few groups in the world capable of this kind of action. and you have to remember also that we have the people hiwho going to a certain death as well. so they were suicide bombers, in effect. and that probably suggests that
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this was not something like the cartel or one of the other groups that has the financial wherewithal and the infrastructure to carry out coordinated attac. i think that, obviously, the finger of suspicion and we're always very cautious about pointing that in any particular direction, but we have to look to the middle east. we have to look to osama bin laden. we have to look at some palestinian groups right now. >> but even in the past when we weren talkingbout osama bin laden and his group there, there have been intelligence experts who have picked up conversations, transmissions, that occurred before an attack give some kind of indicatdnion, even if we didn't understand them till after the attack, is it unusual that with so many prongs to an attack, that there wouldn't have been some type of warning through intelligence sources? >> well, it's a myth that we always know that these things are coming down. part of our problem is -- and we just had a warning go out to our embassies and military bases in the far east, that could have
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been a faint. that could have been a diversion. we have so many warnings these days that people, they tend to fade into the background noise. unless we have real specific information about it, an upcoming attack, generally we don't take action. and these groups are very hard to penetrate. they're focused with bonds of kinship and people who have knn each other for years. it doesn't surprise me that we didn't know that this was coming. >> all right. mr. livingston, thank you very much. we appreciate it. >> benjamin levy is at the scene near the world trade center. actually, he's going to tell us precis sely where he is and wha he saw. benjamin, can you hear me? >> hello? >> hello, benjamin? >> yes. >> hi, it's katie couric. can you tell me where you are and what you have seen or what you are seeing? >> well, right now i'm in lower manhattan, but i was working -- i work at the federal building behind city hall. and we were just sitting at our desks at 9:00 a.m. this morning we heard a big explosion.
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then five minutes or ten minutes later, we saw the other plane hit the other building, the second tower. and then ee just evacuated. and as we started to walk away, we turned around about maybe 15 minutes after we left building. and the second tower just disappeared from sight. and i tell you, i've never seen anything more horrible in my entire life. >> did you see any people, any casualties, mr. levy? u we bumped into a guy from tower one who said that he had a chance to get out of the building after the plane hit the first one. he had a chance to get out of the second one. but he said that -- he said that people were jumping out of the windows. to get away from the fire. >> where are you now, benjamin? >> i'm in a hair salon in lower manhattan talking to you guys. >> obviously -- >> was the whole federal buildingev evacuated, mr. levy?
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>> we started running out of the building as soon as we saw the second explosion. and then i work on the 22nd floor. as soon as we were down to the bottom, they sounded the alarm and they announced evacuation. most of us were already out. >> how far physically are you actually from the world trade center? >> right now or -- >> no, when this happened. >> about six blocks away. >> six blocks away. and you were able to get out pretty easily, and there were no kind of electrical problems in your building as a result of the impact of the fire? >> no, we got out pretty good, thank god. >> as that whole area down there, the city hall, the federal building and all the other commercial buildings, they've all been evacuated as well? >> well, yeah. as we were leaving, the police were telling all the shop owners to shut the shops and go home. >> and that must be enveloped by the smoke and everything else we see because that covers o the entire lower end of manhattan which is a considerably large area not only physically but in terms of the financial networks, the commerce down there, a lot of residential areas. >> yeah, you could smell the smoke.
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and you could smell it. but it wasn't -- we were walking awayrom it. >> benjamin levy, benjamin, thanks so much for talking with us. we appreciate it and glad you're safe. >> katie, i've got a little ruhendown about what's going on around the country. the state department officials have been moved into the state department training center in arlington, virginia. the state has been evacuated, obviously. in minneapolis-st. paul airport shut down, ids downtown evacuated, georgia, all flights at hartsfield-jackson airport closed. the c nchnn headquarters was cl in maryland. officials are tightening security throughout the state. that's the home of andrews air force base. navy installations throughout the hampton roads, home to the world's largest navy base, have been placed under increased security. in pennsylvania, philadelphia international airport has been closed and the liberty bell and independents hall. >> all national monuments have been evacuated and closed.
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>> california has been put on the highest alert. they're on tactical alert in los angeles. tennessee put under heightened security. >> it is now coming up on 10:59 east coast time. we'll give you a recap of what we've seen so far in just a moment. just a quick note from one of the hospitals downtown in new york city. where they say that hundreds of people have been burned from head to toe. this is from dr. steven stern at st. vincent's hospital in greenwich village. about 50 or 60 doctors and nurses standing by in scrubs. the entire entrance to the l emergency room was lined in stretchers covered with white sheets. doctors said the victims mostly had burns. >> of course, theynu're being treated in a number of area hospitals including st. vincent's, nyu, downtown is just about five minutes away as a spokesperson told usearlier, they've had a lot of experience dealing with problems at the world trade center from that february terrorism bombing in 1993.